Next Article in Journal
Unified Efficiency Measurement of Electric Power Supply Companies in China
Next Article in Special Issue
Review of Potential Characterization Techniques in Approaching Energy and Sustainability
Previous Article in Journal
Agricultural Biodiversity in Southern Brazil: Integrating Efforts for Conservation and Use of Neglected and Underutilized Species
Previous Article in Special Issue
Life-Cycle Analysis of Building Retrofits at the Urban Scale—A Case Study in United Arab Emirates
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sustainability 2014, 6(2), 758-778; doi:10.3390/su6020758

Implementation of Brackish Groundwater Desalination Using Wind-Generated Electricity: A Case Study of the Energy-Water Nexus in Texas

1
Department of Mechanical Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 204 East Dean Keeton Street, Stop C2200, Austin, TX 78712, USA
2
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 205 North Mathews Avenue, 2521 Hydrosystems Laboratory, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 18 November 2013 / Revised: 13 January 2014 / Accepted: 26 January 2014 / Published: 10 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Energy-Sustainability Nexus)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2937 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

Growing populations and periodic drought conditions have exacerbated water stress in many areas worldwide. In response, some municipalities have considered desalination of saline water as a freshwater supply. Unfortunately, desalination requires a sizeable energy investment. However, renewable energy technologies can be paired with desalination to mitigate concern over the environmental impacts of increased energy use. At the same time, desalination can be operated in an intermittent way to match the variable availability of renewable resources. Integrating wind power and brackish groundwater desalination generates a high-value product (drinking water) from low-value resources (saline water and wind power without storage). This paper presents a geographically-resolved performance and economic method that estimates the energy requirements and profitability of an integrated wind-powered reverse osmosis facility treating brackish groundwater. It is based on a model that incorporates prevailing natural and market conditions such as average wind speeds, total dissolved solids content, brackish well depth, desalination treatment capacity, capital and operation costs of wind and desalination facilities, brine disposal costs, and electricity and water prices into its calculation. The model is illustrated using conditions in Texas (where there are counties with significant co-location of wind and brackish water resources). Results from this case study indicate that integrating wind turbines and brackish water reverse osmosis (BWRO) systems is economically favorable in a few municipal locations in West Texas.
Keywords: brackish groundwater; reverse osmosis; desalination; wind power; economics; policy brackish groundwater; reverse osmosis; desalination; wind power; economics; policy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Clayton, M.E.; Stillwell, A.S.; Webber, M.E. Implementation of Brackish Groundwater Desalination Using Wind-Generated Electricity: A Case Study of the Energy-Water Nexus in Texas. Sustainability 2014, 6, 758-778.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top